“Siri, how much water did I drink today?”“Alexa, what’s on TV tonight?”“Google, turn off the lights!”You know the drill. We’re all starting to talk to ourselves under the guise of
Looking For Land
A favorite dream for many in Texas is to own land out in the country. With the allure of wide-open spaces and freedom, who can blame them? But before you set out, there are a few things to consider, aside from the budget of course, before making a purchase.
If you’re wanting land, you’ve likely got a specific use in mind- building a home, hunting, or raising animals for example. Different jurisdictions will have their own requirements for each, so having a clear plan in mind will help you and your agent ask the right questions to ensure the land you’re looking at will work for your needs.
If you’re building, one of the most important considerations is the zoning. Some areas outside of city limits do not have any zoning, while other areas may be zoned strictly resident or commercial, which will dictate the type of structures that can be built and their use. Another key element is whether utilities are available on the property. If the land is within city limits, it’s likely that utility lines are nearby, if not already on the property. However, out in the country, they may not be. It will be up to you and your agent to determine what kind of utilities are available in the area and at what installation cost. Research will need to be done to determine the building codes for the area as well.
City and county codes will be important for hunters and those looking to raise animals. Hunting is often prohibited within city limits. Many cities have limitations on the type and number of animals you can raise inside of city limits and have minimum lot size requirements for animals that don’t fall under the pet category. Often there is a maximum number per acre, too.
When purchasing land, consider the taxes. If the land is currently used for income-producing farming (which could be in the form of growing crops or raising animals), or wildlife grazing, it may have an agricultural use tax exemption. If you’re continuing that use, the exemptions are likely to remain. If not, you could be subject to rollback taxes. You and your agent will need to discuss this with the county taxing authority or appraiser.
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With a background in marketing and journalism, Lisa Ellard is well-equipped to offer each of her clients savvy business advice, while always keeping their lifestyle needs a priority. She is a detail-....